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Analysis of Consumer Value Using Semantic Network: The Comparison of Hierarchical and Nonhierarchical Value Structures

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Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries

Published online on


This study compares the value structure of consumers derived from a nonhierarchical method that only requires grouping similar components and a hierarchical method that needs additional steps to classify components into the levels of abstraction, using semantic network analysis. The overall process of understanding consumers’ value structure consists of data collection, data structuring, and network analysis using UCINET 6.0. A case study was conducted to identify the value structure of teenage Internet use behavior. Based on the relative ranking of words with the smallest farness from others, the nonhierarchical method showed “beauty” as the key value of teenagers, while the hierarchical method revealed “warm relationship” as the critical value in their use of the Internet. This nonhierarchical method showed the ability to elicit more diverse values, depending on the characteristics of consumer groups when compared with conventional hierarchical method. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.